Sunday, June 8, 2008

beauty in the breakdown

the thing is...
to love life, to love it even
when you have no stomach for it
and everything you've held dear
crumbles like burnt paper in your hands,
your throat filled with the silt of it.
when grief sits with you, its tropical heat
thickening the air, heavy as water
more fit for gills than lungs;
when grief weights you like your own flesh
only more of it, an obesity of grief,
you think, how can a body withstand this?
then you hold life like a face
between your palms, a plain face,
no charming smile, no violet eyes,
and you say, yes, i will take you
i will love you, again.

by ellen bass

life and i have been having an arguement lately, the kind that have no sense or reason to them, fights that become their own entity and take over. i found myself in tears again this morning, the messy kind, with breathing compromised, things leaking out of nose and eyes, shaking and the familiar and unwelcome feeling of anxiety pounding inside my chest. but, breakdowns are messy, they are, and i know full well that this is what i am going through. i have no illusions that it is anything else. my emotions are overwhelming, as is this feeling of wanting to disappear. i feel misunderstood, even to myself, my own choice of words seem to betray what i want to say.

and yet, i can see outside the window right now at a beautiful day; warm sun, cool breeze. yesterday afternoon walking through one of my favorite spots in hollywood, right by capital records, and the music box, memories that all the connecting streets are full of. my mom let go of some of her angst and bitterness for a bit of time, and we laughed at what some of the buildings meant to us. julia piped in and said something about loving the way that los angeles was a mix of beauty and decay, and i thought how much of that is how i love life, as well - when i can remember that i do love it.

life and i have some making up to do, though i do not know how long it will take. i know that i am hurting, and that i am trying not to go numb. i need to feel all of this, and not worry that i am disappointing everyone by falling, and i need to remember that it is the beauty and the decay, the lovely and the ugly, that i have always loved in this life, and in the people i hold dear - and somehow let myself into that, too. i just wish i felt stronger, and not so alone.

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